A growing number of old dogs are being surrendered to a Meath rescue centre who say they are now tiring of hearing the 'same old excuses'
Coolronan Dog Rescue in Ballivor has seen the highest number of post-Christmas surrendered dogs in years, with 14 in the last number of weeks alone.
"Older dogs that are nine and ten years old are being surrendered with the excuse that the owners are moving and aren't allowed pets in their new house," said Ramona Cunningham who has been running the centre alongside her husband Chris Kelly for 14 years.
"I know some are genuine and that not all landlords allow dogs but to be honest, I'm getting tired of hearing the same excuse from many people that you know just isn't true.
"One dog recently was left in and is still really pining for his owners, who never once rang since to find out how their pet of ten years is doing. They weren't at all bothered leaving him. That dog was with them for nine or ten years and they hardly batted an eyelid handing him over.
"I suspect many older dogs are being surrendered before owners have to face hefty vet bills due to ill health in old age. The older dogs are also harder to rehome because they have routines and habits and can be hard to fit in."
"Dogs up to 12 years having to spend the rest of their days in a rescue centre is just not right."
Ramona says that the message by all rescue centres not to buy puppies for Christmas seems to have again fallen on deaf ears.
"We got a call on Christmas day from a young boy looking for a Husky puppy. How bad is that?
"I'm seeing countless posts on social media of people who got pups for Christmas and are now giving out because their are peeing on the good carpet or chewing their house up.
"Normally it's about February before people get fed up with their pups and abandon or surrender them but this year is pretty early - we've had 14 dogs in the last few weeks, most are old dogs but a good few are pups."
Coolronan rescued 140 dogs last year and many of them were rehomed in Sweden in a partnership between many Irish centres with their Swedish counterparts,
"Many of these are Lurchers and Collies which are impossible to home in Ireland but are easily rehomed in Sweden. We are a great exporter of unwanted dogs."